Graham Cassidy Hurt GOP

The notion that Graham-Cassidy must pass to save the GOP is ludicrous

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The notion that Graham-Cassidy must pass to save the GOP is ludicrous

Let’s set aside, for a moment, whether or not you (or I) sup­port the Graham-​Cassidy Oba­macare replace­ment bill. That’s been debated pub­licly and pri­vately more tena­ciously than any bill since Oba­macare and in a much smaller time frame. Instead, let’s look at one argu­ment: future elections.

There have been a lot of fall­back argu­ments made. These are the indi­rect argu­ments not asso­ci­ated with the sub­stance of the bill that peo­ple will make in an attempt to paint pas­sage as a proper strate­gic move. The most com­mon one is that the GOP needs to pass SOME­THING in order to go into the midterm elec­tions from a posi­tion of strength with the claim that they kept their promise.

In one sense, this is true. As a whole, if the GOP can­not pass some form of Oba­macare repeal, they’ll lose face… as a party. It will reflect poorly on the party in a way that sparks national dis­cus­sions. RNC rep­re­sen­ta­tives will have to spin fever­ishly. Fundrais­ing, their strong point for a long time, will be hampered.

In every other sense, it’s false to believe they’ll lose the midterm elec­tions by not pass­ing Graham-​Cassidy. First, let’s look at the obvi­ous exam­ple: Oba­macare. When it passed in 2010, every left­wing media out­let her­alded it as a show of strength for the Demo­c­ra­tic Party and Pres­i­dent Obama. It was. How­ever, that show of strength did not trans­late into elec­toral wins. Later that year, the Democ­rats lost the House. Four years later, they lost the Sen­ate. Two years later, they lost the White House. They were defeated by GOP can­di­dates who inces­santly ham­mered on the need to repeal Obamacare.

The same sce­nario looms for the GOP. Will the party be strength­ened? Yes. Will the Pres­i­dent? Yes. Will indi­vid­ual can­di­dates in the House and Sen­ate be strength­ened? No. By pass­ing Graham-​Cassidy, the GOP will be tak­ing the same red meat they’ve been using for seven years and hand­ing it to their Demo­c­ra­tic com­peti­tors. Every Demo­c­rat run­ning for seats on Capi­tol Hill will use Graham-​Cassidy and any short­com­ings that come to light before elec­tion day as all the ammu­ni­tion they need to win.

On a national stage, it would be hard for the GOP to argue their fail­ure to repeal Oba­macare. In indi­vid­ual elec­tions for the House and Sen­ate, a good GOP can­di­date can eas­ily remove that alba­tross from their neck based upon their per­sonal vot­ing record. If they voted for repeal, the issue is no longer a valid attack point. In fact, PASS­ING Graham-​Cassidy will force them to answer more ques­tions on the defen­sive… just as Democ­rats had to do in 2010 after Oba­macare passed. That didn’t work out well for them and it won’t work out for many vul­ner­a­ble GOP candidates.

Pass­ing Graham-​Cassidy will help the Pres­i­dent win reelec­tion in 2020 and will make the GOP look good. It will harm midterm GOP can­di­dates in 2018 just as Oba­macare harmed midterm Democ­rats in 2010.

Let’s set aside, for a moment, whether or not you (or I) support the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare replacement bill. That’s been debated publicly and privately more tenaciously than any bill since Obamacare and in a much smaller time frame. Instead, let’s look at one argument: future elections.

There have been a lot of fallback arguments made. These are the indirect arguments not associated with the substance of the bill that people will make in an attempt to paint passage as a proper strategic move. The most common one is that the GOP needs to pass SOMETHING in order to go into the midterm elections from a position of strength with the claim that they kept their promise.

In one sense, this is true. As a whole, if the GOP cannot pass some form of Obamacare repeal, they’ll lose face… as a party. It will reflect poorly on the party in a way that sparks national discussions. RNC representatives will have to spin feverishly. Fundraising, their strong point for a long time, will be hampered.

In every other sense, it’s false to believe they’ll lose the midterm elections by not passing Graham-Cassidy. First, let’s look at the obvious example: Obamacare. When it passed in 2010, every leftwing media outlet heralded it as a show of strength for the Democratic Party and President Obama. It was. However, that show of strength did not translate into electoral wins. Later that year, the Democrats lost the House. Four years later, they lost the Senate. Two years later, they lost the White House. They were defeated by GOP candidates who incessantly hammered on the need to repeal Obamacare.

The same scenario looms for the GOP. Will the party be strengthened? Yes. Will the President? Yes. Will individual candidates in the House and Senate be strengthened? No. By passing Graham-Cassidy, the GOP will be taking the same red meat they’ve been using for seven years and handing it to their Democratic competitors. Every Democrat running for seats on Capitol Hill will use Graham-Cassidy and any shortcomings that come to light before election day as all the ammunition they need to win.

On a national stage, it would be hard for the GOP to argue their failure to repeal Obamacare. In individual elections for the House and Senate, a good GOP candidate can easily remove that albatross from their neck based upon their personal voting record. If they voted for repeal, the issue is no longer a valid attack point. In fact, PASSING Graham-Cassidy will force them to answer more questions on the defensive… just as Democrats had to do in 2010 after Obamacare passed. That didn’t work out well for them and it won’t work out for many vulnerable GOP candidates.

Passing Graham-Cassidy will help the President win reelection in 2020 and will make the GOP look good. It will harm midterm GOP candidates in 2018 just as Obamacare harmed midterm Democrats in 2010.